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Hasegawa Yamaha YZR500

Yamaha YZR500
Hasegawa No. 21503
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, gray, clear
Scale: 1/12
MSRP: $74.99
Pros: Molding and detail; decals; no mold seams on slicks; impressive frame
Cons: Delicate parts can be damaged easily
Hasegawa has produced a winner with this 1/12 scale bike kit. This is a replica of the 1988 World Grand Prix Champ bike ridden by Eddie Lawson.                

There are several trees molded in white and medium-gray plastic. The molding and detail is incredible. There are even very finely molded linkages for the carburetors and other components. Care needs to be taken when cutting these parts from the trees because they are so delicate.

The race slicks have no mold marks down the centers to remove, which is a big plus. There are a few long screws for the fork and both axles, along with clear and black vinyl tubing.

The decal sheet is printed by Cartograf.

The first step in the well-illustrated instructions is building the 500cc two- stroke power plant. It assembles well with minimal cleanup. Hasegawa provides good color charts to make sure the engine looks accurate. Be prepared to mix some colors to get the correct shades of steel and titanium.
The most impressive part of the bike is the frame. It has all of the appropriate weld marks and inserts for the inside of the frame to make it appear solid.

The instructions show the engine being installed while putting the frame halves together, but it will go in after frame assembly.

The radiator mounts to the front of the frame. The radiator hose and overflow bottles were a bit tricky to install around the engine, but fit well when in place.

The rear swing arm is another impressive piece. It is halves that are hollow on the inside. After the rear tires are installed, you do not see that the frame is hollow.

The drive chain is finely molded, and when painted and detailed, looks like an aftermarket piece. The rear brakes go together with ease, and look extremely realistic.

The rear mono shock has a real spring that needs to be painted. Despite it being a metal spring, the suspension is not functional. The rear swing arm slips into place and is held to the frame with a long screw. Plastic molded nuts cover the screw heads.

Hasegawa provides a “Late type” reverse or “Early type” normal fork setup. I chose the early type setup for my build. I used Bare-Metal foil to cover the hard steel polished tubes on the upper portion of the forks. The front brake discs were a bit tricky to paint because they were all one piece, but looked convincing when complete. Leave the calipers until last, or the rotor and wheel assembly will not fit.

The handlebars are delicate, yet push into their mounts hard, so be careful you do not snap off the bars. I added a bit  more glue in conspicuous areas to reinforce them from snapping off later. Hasegawa provides all of the computer and sensor boxes, which makes detailing these areas easy.

I had to route the vinyl tubing through various areas to hook up for the clutch and brake lines. The tubing is a little narrow in the center, so do not push too hard or you can break off the mounting points easily.

The tins fit tight, but snug and flush. The clear windshield did not require any gluing, because it snaps right into place.

This is one of the best race bike kits I have built. Hasegawa really did its research on this one. I highly recommend this kit to an experienced modeler.


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